WORLD FINANCE UPDATE:
The Australian dollar has hit a three-month high, helped by easing tensions in Eastern Europe and a stable local interest rate outlook.
At 0630 AEDT on Wednesday, the local unit was trading at 91.28 US cents, up from 90.78 cents on Tuesday.
And the Australian share market looks set to follow international markets and open higher as investors shrug off Russia’s move to formally absorb Crimea and begin turning attention to a US Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting.
At 0645 AEDT on Wednesday, the March share price index futures contract was up 16 points at 5,364.
WASHINGTON – US home construction fell for a third month in February, but in a hopeful sign, applications for building permits rose to their highest level in four months.
WASHINGTON – Cheaper energy kept US consumer prices in check last month, despite a big rise in the cost of food, the latest sign that inflation is tame.
ATHENS – Greece has reached an agreement with its international debt inspectors that will allow the release of a long-delayed rescue loan instalment.
LONDON – The Bank of England has appointed an International Monetary Fund official to a new job overseeing markets and banking – a position created amid allegations that bank officials condoned fixing in currency markets.
KARLSRUHE, Germany – Germany’s highest court has ruled that the European bailout fund, the ESM, is in line with the country’s constitution, throwing out numerous objections by eurosceptics.
FRANKFURT – German telecom giant Deutsche Telekom will cut 4,900 jobs over the next two years from its IT and consultancy unit T-Systems.
WARSAW – German car giant Volkswagen will invest 800 million euros ($A1.21 billion) in a new factory near the western Polish city of Poznan, Poland’s foreign investment agency says.
NEW YORK – Hertz plans to spin off its equipment rental business into a separate publicly traded company.
WASHINGTON – Microsoft says it will launch its new Xbox One gaming and entertainment console in 26 additional countries by September, ramping up its efforts against rival Sony.